DOI: 10.1177/17562872231217797 ISSN: 1756-2872

Challenges and options for management of stones in anomalous kidneys: a review of current literature

Mudassir Wani, Ahmed Haider Abdalla Mohamed, Gareth Brown, Seshadri Sriprasad, Sanjeev Madaan
  • Urology


Congenital anomalies of the kidney and urinary tract (CAKUT) represent a wide range of disorders that result from developmental abnormalities of the kidneys, urinary collecting tract, and lower urinary tract. There has been extensive development in approaches to the management of stones in normal kidneys with the advent of retrograde intra-renal surgeries (RIRS)/ureteroscopies, extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL) percutaneous nephrolithotomy (PCNL), and minimally invasive surgery (laparoscopy/robotics). However, the management of stones in CAKUT is not straightforward and is often challenging for urologists. There are no clear guidelines available to help navigate stone management in such patients.

Materials and methods:

The aim of this literature review was to focus on stone management in anomalous kidneys. Most common abnormalities were considered. The studies were very heterogeneous with different approaches. The methodology involved evaluating studies looking into individual surgical approaches to the management of stones in these anomalous kidneys as well as looking at different approaches to stone management, in particular renal abnormality.


We found RIRS is a feasible approach in most stones with sizes <20 mm and PCNL holds the upper hand in stones more than 20 mm. However, ESWL, laparoscopy, and robotics have their places in managing some of these cases.


We concluded that stones in anomalous kidneys can be challenging but can be managed safely. There is no straightforward answer to the right technique but rather the right planning based on the anatomy of the kidney in terms of vascularity and drainage, stone size and density, and expertise available.

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